I know that autumn is here. I have just roasted my first pumpkin of the season! A walk through the corner grocer or farmers market becomes a delight with all the lovely tastes available right now. Cooler nights mean more appetite and heartier dinners but they can still be simple fresh from the garden meals. Delicious field tomatoes, sweet fall onions and roasted pumpkin puree make up the base of this warming soup.
Thanksgiving in Canada is in two weeks so I would also suggest a small bowl as the first course for your family get together. Small is important as pumpkin puree is filling and you will want to leave room for all the other delicious offerings.
You will need:
1/2 sweet onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced (or more if you like))
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb tomatoes (cut into quarters)
1/4 tsp. smoky paprika
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree
splash white wine (optional)
2 tsp. brown sugar (optional)
sauteed mushrooms and bacon
There can be such a sense of accomplishment as the harvest comes in. Months of attention are yielding success. Gratitude for helpful weather conditions, energy to harvest, help with the harvest, sellable product that can pay bills are all situations for appreciation. When purchasing, the gratitude can come from being able to afford what you would like to buy, having the product available at all in your area and knowing you can feed your family. Take a deep breath in, open your heart to gratitude, release your breath and give thanks. Begin.
This soup is finished with an immersion blender so seeds and skin are up to you. Some food plans suggest that only the meat of the tomato should be eaten. If you are following such a plan, blanch, cool and peel before adding the diced pieces to the onions. If not, the immersion blender will take care of you.
Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes while adding the additional ingredients to the pot. As you can see on the right, I cooked the first half in a frying pan and then transfered everything to a pot. There is no need to do that. My pot was in use when I began the soup.
Fresh roasted pumpkin puree is not the only option. If you prefer tinned, that is fine. Did you know that legally, even if it says pumpkin on the tin, it doesn’t need to be 100% pumpkin and can be a mixture of squashes? Try acorn or butternut squash as an alternative.
Once everything is in the pot and nicely bubbling away, get out the immersion blender and puree until you are happy with the consistency. Add additional stock or milk if you prefer something a little thinner. It is also possible to finish off the soup without the dairy and increase the stock by 1 1/2 cups. Some people like to leave little chunks and others prefer a very smooth consistency. Absolutely, your choice.
Finish off with a splash of white wine and brown sugar if there are no young children around or leave them out if white wine is not your cup of tea.
I garnished this meal with sauteed mushrooms, bacon and sage so that the soup would be enjoyed as a full meal. Sour cream, pesto and pepitas are other options.
With so many lovely fall vegetables available right now, this is just one option for a quick dinner with leftovers that can sit for a day or two in the fridge or be taken to work for lunch.